Hey kids, El Presidente here. Today I want to talk about the lost art of fighting. Fighting has been a part of the human lexicon as long as hunting and fire. It is our primal instinct to fight, no matter why we are fighting. It can be for sport, dominance, or self-defense. This primal act is very much a part of our society today. Unarmed combat is also taught to every military force worldwide.
Even though we still fight today, we have forgotten the proper techniques for self-defense. Today, in Part I of this series, I will show you how to position yourself for a good one-two punch. Before we get into that, we will talk about the history of fighting and why we have lost our ability to fight.
The Ancient Spartans are the original certified bad-asses. The Spartans were trained in armed and unarmed combat from the time they could walk. This was due to the city-state being under perpetual threats of war and them wanting their citizens to be ready to go at a moments notice. Sparta’s rivals, the Athenians, held what we call the Olympic Games. In these games, there was an unarmed combat competition known as Pankration. Pankration was the original Mixed Martial Arts. The sport had concepts of striking and submission grappling. Competitors would fight until one was incapacitated or dead. Pankration, as well as other sports, in the Ancient Olympics also helped the Athenians prepare for battle in case they had to defend themselves.
We Lost Our Way
Our Ancient counterparts had to fight to defend their country, their property, and their family. They fought to survive the reality of war, famine, and economic collapse. In today’s society, we no longer need worry unless we live in a third world country. Since we don’t, we have a false sense of security. We live under a faux security blanket and we have traded our duty to fight. We rely on the justice system to protect us from confrontation. Kids are discouraged from defending themselves from bullies. There are initiatives to stop bullying, but we all know these programs fail due to lack of school, parent, and teacher involvement. We have tagged fighting as barbaric, outdated, and for sport. Kids and adults have become afraid to defend themselves due to the fear of consequences. Because of this, we forgot how to fight when our backs are against the wall.
The Importance of Self-Defense
Self-defense is as important as food, water, and shelter. It is a part of our self-preservation. It ensures that we can defend our family, our property, and ourselves accurately. If we do not learn proper technique, we will fall prey to our aggressors and ultimately become the sheep and not the sheepdog. Self-Defense is not a right but a responsibility. It is a tool used to defend the weak and to defeat evil. Men, women, and children should all learn to defend themselves and not be afraid of the consequences of society or the public’s feelings.
Basic Steps: Positioning and Hand Placement
Follow these basic steps and you can avoid becoming a victim and throw a well-timed, accurate punch.
- First, start with your feet spread shoulder width apart, slightly bend at the knees.
2. Now, place your dominant leg 6 to 8 inches directly behind you (this will give bring balance and power to your punches).
3. Place your hands 3-6 inches from your face and 3-6 inches from each other; with your dominant hand closer than your lead hand. Really, you can place your hands where you feel comfortable as long as they can accurately defend an attack.
Basic Steps: The Basic 1-2 Combo
1. Now that you have your footwork and hand placement down, we can move on to the most basic punch; the jab. To throw a jab you will use your lead hand (the non-dominant hand). The jab is a quick strike. It is used to stun or maintain distance from your opponent. To throw, you slightly raise your left heel off the ground. Next, you will thrust your arm forward while rotating your fist. Once you make contact, immediately return to the defensive position. This is done in one simultaneous motion and should create a snapping motion. You may step forward slightly if you choose.
2. Next punch is the cross. This is a power punch that can be devastating if thrown correctly. Like the jab, it is thrown straight forward. Begin by pivoting off the ball of your right foot. To throw, thrust your arm forward while rotating your fist. At the same time, turn on the ball of your foot (this will add power to your punch), while rolling your shoulder forward into it.